Toys That Make You Go WTF?

So, I went to Toys R Us. That in and of itself is pretty bad news. Toys R Us is one of those places that sends me into the kind of sensory overload that makes me want to run, whimpering, back into the natural light just to get away, far, far, away from the flourescent bulbs and relentlessly cheerful merchandise. I think the store environment must have the same effect on the staff because the people who work there look like Zombies From The Island of Misfit Toys, not like people whose job it is to bring retail joy to children everywhere.

Anyway. I just wanted one thing: a floor mat that looked like roads to put in the playroom for C.  I found one. It looked perfect. Until I read this:

It’s kind of hard to read but it’s a LEAD WARNING!!!!! Ladies and…well, more ladies, haven’t we gone past the point of LEAD IN TOYS? Really? Perhaps this was manufactured by a company that uses a labor force made up entirely of kids whose development was stunted by lead in their bloodstream and they’re trying to self-perpetuate? I wish I had a good answer for that. But I just don’t.

But the Lead Mat wasn’t the only gem I saw in Toys R Us. Check this out:

This appears to be some sort of playset called Punjabi Prison Match. I’m not sure what’s more alarming about this: the implicit approval of violence as a form of entertainment or the culturally insensitive name of the toy.

But that’s not all! Perhaps after instilling a love of violence and disdain for foreign cultures in you child, you can purchase this:

Yes, a child-sized Escalade so we can foster in our kids the kind of bloated sense of entitlement that led to recession–backed, spending sprees.

If you’re worried about your kid getting lazy from rollin’ gangsta in their Caddy and want them to get some exercise, we have these little gems from the section I like to call the Human Hamster Ball Shop:

Because what says fun like rolling around the yard in an inflatable ball so you can crack skulls with three or four of your closets friends?

What really worries me is that somewhere, there is a family who has the Human Hamster Balls and a giant trampoline in their yard. And they’re behind on their insurance payments.

Now, if all of that doesn’t give you nightmares, how about this:

A Thomas bed that will either delight children or scare the shit out of them. Also? It was suspended about six feet above the floor on a slanted display rack so it looked like it was about to drive right over me!

And after the character-branded merchandise atrophies your child’s imagination and leaves them unable to make up their own stories, there’s this:

Because apparently, the chairs and blankets we used to make forts when we were kids required too much inventiveness.

And finally there’s this:


Seriously. That’s just wrong.


The whole excursion makes me want to learn to whittle little handmade toys for C but I know I’ll be back there someday.  But not for the remote control skunk. Because that’s fucked up.

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15 comments for “Toys That Make You Go WTF?

  1. September 21, 2010 at 7:22 am

    Did you find a rug yet? Ikea has some and they’re less than $15.

    The other thing I find disturbing about toys is that all the Fisher Price toys have faces. The vacuum has a face, shape sorter, cookie jar thingamajig, faces… it creeps me out.

  2. Hope C
    September 21, 2010 at 9:02 am

    My husband got one of those rugs at Home Depot, yes Home Depot for our twins. You may want to check them out. Or check out that Toy Store in Rockville Town Center, or the one in Cabin John Mall. You will like them better than Toys R Us.

  3. September 21, 2010 at 9:34 am

    I want a child-sized hamster wheel that will generate power for our television. The only way they’ll be able to watch is if they’re scampering.

  4. Erica Snipes
    September 21, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Just found you through starkravingmadmommy–and am glad I did! You have justified my anxiety with nearly every toy department I walk into! Also, I am glad to find the comment about going to Home Depot for one of those road rugs. My b-g twins are 17 months old and I feel one of those things coming on for my son at some point! Thanks for the awesome!

  5. September 21, 2010 at 9:58 am

    oh. my. god. I know. We went through toys r us the other day and Husband was all “OH AWESOME” about 90% of the crap and I was all “Nuh. UH. J will never have that.”

    What is with toys today!??!

  6. Kristen
    September 21, 2010 at 10:39 am

    I went in to that godforsaken store the other day. My 4yo has a birthday coming up and the only thing she wants is only sold there. So I take on the 40 minute drive only to find out that some guy has purchased the entire stock of desired toy to ebay. Thanks.

  7. anthrogrrl
    September 21, 2010 at 10:53 am

    I have fond memories of ToysRUs, because, as a child, my aunt/godmother would take me to TRU each year and I could pick any toy I wanted for my birthday present. It was a really special bonding moment with her. That said, I don’t think I’ve been in one since I turned 18, so I can imagine that they are fairly horrifying to be in as an adult.

    Oh, and the RC skunk? Yeah, my sister had a little collection of walking, barking, backflipping RC animals. She woulda been all over the skunk. *grin*

  8. James
    September 21, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Isn’t that illegal!? I know in Washington (State) it is… wow. Thats seriously scary. (And good catch!)

    Now i’m all for the human hamster ball toys. At least they are outside and moving. Considering when I grew up it was smash our heads together rolling down the hill into the gully… this is easy.

    RC Skunk is just a WTF? Who thinks this is something people want?

  9. September 21, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    I thought it was funny when the anchors on our local news channel got in some of those hamster balls on a skanky pool of water at the state fair. 😉

  10. September 21, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Playing with dirt and sticks is a perfectly acceptable replacement for lead based toys.

  11. KLZ
    September 21, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    That Thomas bed is f-ing terrifying. Seriously, I could not handle having that thing in my house.

  12. FoxyDenMom
    September 21, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    You are the saving grace to my sanity…Thank You.

    Over and over again, I think “Is it just me?” “Who in their right freakin mind would buy this crap?” Let alone for their child? But thankfully, you have once again entered my head in some outstanding capacity and successfully articulated and typed out my thoughts.

    I have a 10-minute time limit before I develop a splitting headache (which I simply don’t get elsewhere) after being in TRU. Between the lights and the products…I just get all f*ed up.

    We do do the birthday toy-store ritual w/ our 4 y.o. but I think we’re going to start visiting another toy-store. When we ARE in there…I do everything I can to stay away from that God-forsaken Escalade. We accidently got near it shopping for little-brother’s diapers and the 4 yo was instantly enraptured. It’s a bigger version of a stationary-playground toy at pre-school. I was 2 hours late getting home because I bribed him out of the store w/ an unscheduled trip to the park.

    Heaven help us…our neighborhood is unfortunately riddled w/ these battery-operated vehicles straight from the pits of Hell. Between these things and the helmet-less scooter-riding kids in flip-flops or barefeet, I’m seriously considering a move. If the silly cars were pedal-powered, I might not mind so.

    That bed? OM…I’ll have nightmares~ I may even need *therapy.*

  13. September 22, 2010 at 9:05 am

    The skunk! With realistic FLIP UP TAIL!


  14. November 4, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    Great blog! I dont think Ive seen all the angles of this subject the way youve pointed them out. Youre a true star, a rock star man. Youve got so much to say and know so much about the subject that I think you should just teach a class about it…HaHa!

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